Left to right: Kelly Clenet, Michael Grillo, Ash Day, Graham Farrar
Meet Elite: a powerhouse team of career entrepreneurs. Individually, each team member has led multiple start-up ventures to dizzying heights of success. With Graham and Ash on product marketing and Michael and Kelly on business development, the team is eager to bring a professional edge to the emerging hydroponics industry.
Early on, Michael discovered a passion for growing ideas from the ground up that launched him into an entrepreneurial career 30 years strong. After receiving a B.A. in Physics and starting his career as a charter member of IBM’s business consulting services, he founded ASI, a Chicago-based consulting group that supported a broad portfolio of Fortune 500 and other companies in strategic management and product development. He then co-founded Origin Capital Partners, a distressed asset investment and management fund. Along the way, he picked up an M.B.A at his alma mater’s Booth School. His next venture was as CFO of Ergomotion, Inc., a global bedding technology company that he helped lead through explosive growth and expansion. With three children under the age of five, Michael’s highly active family spends as much time outdoors as possible, whether elbow deep in the family garden, playing in the ocean, or seeking out new bugs on Santa Barbara hiking trails.
Kelly has had his hands in the entrepreneurial pot his whole career. While running a successful hair styling business for over 17 years, he simultaneously pursued real estate ventures and luxury automotive brokerage. When an opportunity arose to work with his father on a new bedding technology company, Ergomotion, Inc., he recognized the potential and left his previous pursuits to take on the role of President. Under his leadership, Ergomotion became the fastest growing company in the bedding industry with over $120MM in sales across 28 countries. With that company sold, Kelly turned his attention to another industry poised for massive growth: the rapidly developing field of indoor and greenhouse horticulture. An avid outdoorsman, he spends time boating, snowboarding, traveling, and being outdoors with his wife and 21-year-old son.
Originally from Australia, Ash has a love for watching things grow, whether that be a seedling breaking through the soil’s surface or a business taking flight. His initial business pursuits as a grower soon led to a role as Managing Director for horticultural company NEEm Coir Pty. Ltd. He found that business suited him, and left to pursue opportunities in the bedding industry, where he served as Managing Director of two multi-million dollar enterprises, Craftmatic Australia Pty, Ltd. and later Medico Japan. Missing the garden, he headed to America to co-found Rock Nutrients, a division of a SIngapore-based group. Under his leadership as Managing Director, the business grew in five years’ time to a multimillion dollar enterprise with an international presence. His work in commercial growing has become his greatest passion, and he spends therapeutic time in the garden when he’s not out surfing or playing sports.
Graham is a serial entrepreneur who taps into the explosive growth of emerging markets. An original member of Software.com, he helped it grow from the start-up phase through its initial public NASDAQ offering in 1999. While running an upscale luxury rental management company that he began in 2003, he also became an early member of Sonos, a highly successful next-generation digital home stereo company. With that business firmly established and growing, he turned to the educational app and ebook market to found iStoryTime, a leading multi-platform library of mobile children’s entertainment. Graham thrives on a highly active life, which includes multi-year sailboat adventures, piloting, and mountain biking, along with spending quality family time with his wife and two elementary-aged children.